The Most Badass Kicks in MMA History (With Video)
The best kicks in MMA history have a special place in the sport because of the high degree of difficulty required to pull one off.
Kicks, especially to the head, are rarely used to great success—unless you're Mirko Cro Cop, that is—in MMA, due to the timing and and speed required to land one.
However, when they are successful, they are a thing of beauty. Even more so than a knockout punch.
Here are the most badass kicks in MMA history.
20. Mirko Cro Cop Puts a Target On Yamamato's Head
I've never seen a fight sequence quite like this.
Mirko Cro Cop essentially lines up Yamamoto's head and places kicks right to his dome over and over again.
While Yamamoto survived the beating, he certainly won't forget it.
19. Marius Zaromskis Catches Myeon Ho Bae
While short-lived, this looked like it was going to be an exciting from the very start. Marius Zaromskis comes out swinging and the two exchange in a high-energy bout.
However, Zaromskis ends Myeon Ho Bae's night early.
18. Chris Hordecki Should Not Have Turned His Back on Anthony Njokua
Chris Horodecki makes the mistake of turning his back on Anthony Njokuani. In an attempt to run away and create space, Horodecki is caught from behind by a Njokuani kick to the face that drops him to the floor.
Skip to the 1:14 mark to watch it.
17. Yves Edwards Turnaround KO
Yves Edwards catches Josh Thompson with a quick jump kick to the face that sends him flying across the cage.
Thompson had no time to react. As soon as he got out of Edwards' hold and turned around, he was greeted by Edwards' foot.
16. David Loiseau Spinning Back Kick to The Ribs
David "The Crow" Loiseau gives Charles McCarthy a swift spnning back kick right into his ribs that knocks the wind out of him.
He follows that up with a flying knee to finish his night.
15. Naoyuki Kotani Has No Idea What Yves Edwards Just Threw at Him
Yves Edwards gives Naoyuku Kotani a good fake, setting up what looks to be a Superman punch. But then he catches him off guard with a quick kick to the face that puts him on the canvas.
Skip to the 3:25 mark to watch it unfold.
14. Igor's Face, Meet Mirko Cro Cop's Foot
Igor Vovchanchyn stands no chance against the blinding speed of Mirko Cro Cop's kick.
Fast forward to the 2:11 mark to watch Igor get his face smashed in.
Get used to seeing Cro Cop on this list. This is not the last of him.
13. Mirko Swipes Wanderlei's Dome
Mikro Cro Cop and Wanderlei Silva were two of the biggest and well known fighters at the time of this bout.
While it looks like he just barely grazed Silva in the video, he gets a clean and solid connect that ends the night of the Axe Murderer.
Go to the 0:25 mark in the video to see Wanderlei take a dive.
12. Gilbert Yvel Sets Up Gary Goodridge For The KO
Gilbert Yvel and Gary Goodridge were jostling with their hands when Yvel catches Goodridge with a quick kick right upside his head.
Goodridge immediately goes down and Yvel walks away with a brutal knockout kick.
11. Anderson Silva From His Backside
This really is an amazing sequence.
Anderson Silva is on his back and he uses his incredible flexibility to pull his leg up high enough to bring it right into the face of Okami.
Go to the 5:09 mark to watch the man known as The Spider pull off a crazy kick.
10. Rashad Evans KOs Sean Salmons
Rashad Evans was never known for his kicks, but his fight against Sean Salmons changed all that. Evans caught Salmons with a brutal and swift kick to the face that put him on his back and out of commission.
Skip to 0:22 so you can watch the kick and not the poor camera work.
9. Punch Followed Up With a Head Kick To Rearrange His Face
Unsure of whether or not his punch was enough to end the night, he followed it up with a brutal kick right to his face that sent him flying to the ground.
The opponent's face after getting knocked out is truly priceless.
8. Mirko Cro Cop Goes Upside Ricky Nickolson's Head
There's a reason Mirko Cro Cop's kick is known as the Kick of Death.
Facing up against Ricky Nickolson, he gives him a quick kick to the side of the head. Cro Cop didn't even have to follow up the kick. He knew right after connecting that Nickolson was done for the night.
7. Mirko Cro Cop Gets a Taste Of His Own Medicine
Mirko Cro Cop is known for his terrifying kicks, but for once, he's on the receiving end of a brutal kick. Gabriel Gonzaga did to Cro Cop what he's been doing for years.
What's even worse, Cro Cop twisted his ankle in an unnatural way after he blacked out.
6. Gary Goodridge Says Goodbye To Don Frye
Gary Goodridge was pitted against the patriotic Don Frye in a Pride bout.
Goodridge gives Frye a solid kick to the face that ends his night, smashing face first into the canvas.
Go to 0:56 to watch it in all its glory.
5. Mirko Cro Cop Angers Fedor
Mirko Cro Cop catches Aleksander Emelianko looking with a left kick to the head that sends him straight to the ground.
While it was a great win for Cro Cop, he made the mistake of angering Fedor Emelianko. The older Emelianko would get his revenge on Cro Cop.
4. Adlan Amagov Roundhouse on Maskhat Akhmetov
Adlan Amagov catches Maskhat Akhmetov with a beautiful roundhouse kick that instantly finishes him off.
The timing and placement couldn't have been any better.
3. The Cartwheel Kick
This was either genius or a brain-dead move. Whichever way you see it, it's one of the most amazing kicks attempted in the history of the sport.
The audacity by the man to even attempt it is absurd.
He lands not only one, but both of his feet in the man's face to finish him off.
2. Dan Hornbuckle Says Good Night Akihiro Gono
Akihiro Gono makes the mistake of trying to kick Dan Hornbuckle. Hornbuckle caught his kick, got him off balance and set him up with a devastating kick to the face that instantly knocked him out.
Gono decided a quick blackout wasn't good enough as he took a nap on the mat.
1. Anthony Pettis Off The Wall
This is without question the greatest kick in the history of MMA.
It had everything from the creative flair, a high level of difficulty and it sent his opponent straight to the mat. You couldn't ask for more.
Congratulations, Anthony Pettis.